Sage Outdoor Designs » landscape design

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Rushes and Reeds

Ornamental grasses have seen a real rise in popularity recently as a wonderful way to soften a drought tolerant landscape. Less popular, but equally beautiful, are reeds and rushes. They do like a little more water, but with an efficient irrigation system (like a drip system) they are perfectly suitable in your drought tolerant landscape.

I am especially fond of using them in modern designs. Planted in mass, they are wonderful as a way to soften “edgy” architecture. Some of them have the blue/bluegreen coloration I am so fond of, making them a great pairing for other bluegreen plants like Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’. Or try the strong contrast with rusty orange by pairing them with Carex testacea.

The reeds I have here (starting at the top right) are Juncus patens ‘Elk Blue’, Juncus ‘Quartz Creek’, Chondropetalum tectorum, and Cyperus isocladus. The orange-colored grass below is Carex testacea.

Sage Outdoor Designs is a San Diego landscape design firm. Kate
Wiseman, the Principal, has been a San Diego landscape designer
for the past ten years. Find out more at